summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Thursday, January 7, 2016

choose joy....

This 70 pound Lab thinks she is a lap dog. She comes to me and begs to come up. She just looks at me with intensity...her water bowl is full, she has already eaten, and been outside. She just puts her head on my lap and begs with her eyes. Then when I say, "you want to come up here?", she jumps right up and makes herself at home. Last night, right after she had settled in, Kitty came purring around, so I called him up too. The two dogs and two cats in our house get along well.

Anyway. As I wait once again for a phone call about a test, I wonder a few things...first of all, why am I planning a trip across the country, ha? Life is short, I told Mirielle. We may as well, it will be fun. And it is exciting. The persistent burning pain in my side makes me think dismal thoughts sometimes, I must admit. But I distinctly remember a day many years ago....

I was making dinner, and having my daily phone conversation with my mother. My mother was a cancer survivor (breast cancer/lymph nodes involved, double masectomy), heart attack survivor, triple bypass survivor, who ended up with renal failure, resulting in nine years of dialysis, three times a week. Nine years. She would get so wiped out, she would come home and think she couldn't do it any more. For the last few years of her life, she went quite a few times by ambulance to the hospital from her chair at the dialysis center, because her heart simply couldn't take the stress any more. So this one day we were talking on the phone, and she was weak and tired, and she said she was afraid. I, being young and relatively healthy, knew all the answers. Afraid! What's the worst thing that could happen, Mom? You could die. Yes, and that's what we're ALL going to do. In the end, she wasn't afraid at all. She was the most cheerful person you could ever imagine, after she checked into the hospice/palliative care room at the hospital. No more dialysis! She was going home! She sat there on the first day, on the side of the bed, swinging her legs and greeting her visitors with, "Oh, I have been DYING to see you!", putting them at ease with the awkwardness of visiting someone who is actually going to die within probably a week. She checked in on Saturday and was gone by the next Friday. And her joy didn't diminish, even when she was sleepy. The night before she passed, as we stood around her bed patting her arms and holding her hands and telling her how much we loved her, she tried to get up out of bed, to go to Jesus now, she said. Oh no, we told her, she didn't have to get up at all! He would be there soon to scoop her up and away, she just had to wait a little bit. That made her very happy. She went to sleep that night, and indeed Jesus came, and took her away.

I am comforted by the experience of her passing. I know there's nothing to be afraid of, even if faced with what we human beings term "the worst".

And also, I know that each day has enough cares of it's own, so I have no business worrying about things like that.

Worrying is a huge thief, stealing joy and peace. I think there's a term for someone who thinks of death in each ache and pain, perhaps "fatalist". That's me.

Today, Davian is coming over. We haven't had him here for a while, so yay! I am planning to go over our trip route on the map with him, he's heard we are going and is excited about it.

I am reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, "The Long Winter" to the kids. Oh there's nothing cozier than snuggling together on a freezing cold day, with cups of hot tea...

Ah well. If I get a call from the dr. office about yesterday's CT scan, I'll write about it...hopefully it's nothing:)


maureen said...

I read your posts each day, and think about you and your lovely family, sorry I don't comment often. But I just want you to know that I think you are a very positive person and a great influence on your readers! I pray that you get a "good" phone call, but I rest on Christ's promise that He has this for you.

Oh the Little House Series! Living here in Kansas, anything Laura Ingalls Wilder is close to my heart! I re-read The Long Winter to my children every January-February because I just love the way she weaves that story and it makes me so grateful for the warmth and comfort of our modern life! (Though we could use a bit of snow here in the Midwest to make it feel more like winter!)


WicketsMom said...

We call our two "Lapradors". Onyx is 67 pounds and her puppy Shadow is a 97 pounder!